SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Two weeks ago protesters lined Madison Square, lead by advocacy group Ban Horse Carriages Savannah, to protest the horse drawn carriage trade.
“Horses are actually prey animals, they scare easily, they wanna run away,” says Lauren Ball of Ban Horse Carriages Savannah, “horse drawn carriages are dangerous, they can harm people they can harm horses, and we believe the horses are not cared for properly.”
Ball and her group are calling for a ban on the practice in Savannah.
“We want to end this as soon as possible,” says Ball.
Cara Marshall is the owner of Carriage Tours of Savannah, which has been around for 50 years.
These horses are well fed, well groomed, cared for, this is our job, this is our livelihood,” says Marshall, “We’re not gonna put them in danger, that would be putting us in danger.”
She tells News 3 her horses take several water breaks throughout the day and temperature checks, and do not work if they overheat.
“The science backs our industry,” says Marshall, “If we’re getting into what the horses are capable of and how they’re cared for- obviously we do a lot of horse care right here out in the open, so there’s not anything that’s hidden or that were trying to keep from people.”
Alderwoman Post 1 At-Large Kesha Gibson-Carter tells News 3 she does not support a ban, but instead says there needs to be a balance between advocacy groups and business owners. She says one possible solution is holding workshops to better train workers to care for the horses.
“We want to be mindful of the opportunity to host these workshops, where we can give consideration to best practices, give considerations to a ban, hear from those business owners, here from those advocates, and make the best decision for Savannah.” says Gibson-Carter.
She also says she has been working with her colleagues and the city attorney to implement this workshop as soon as possible, something she has been working on for three years.